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|October 8, 2001||
Indian SFX finds no taker
Black Tuesday has had a special effect on Indian multimedia and computer graphics companies. This, thanks to Hollywood's decision to put its action films on hold, after the terrorism attacks on America.
At least one Bangalore-based company has been told in rather unequivocal terms to bear the delay as even the non-violent variety of films are affected by a recession-like situation.
"Films that were in the pipeline have been postponed. August and September are normally the boom months for launching film production, but inflow of new projects has, so far, been non-existent," S S Dahiya, managing director of Compudyne Winfosystems, informs.
In fact, the enthusiasm of the last couple of years is "missing".
He should know. Last year his company's revenue sheet showed Rs 260 million as against the 1999-2000 figure of Rs 64 million. That figure itself was up from Rs 16 million for 1998-99.
Compudyne Winfosystems, set up in 1995, opened shop in Japan and Europe and last year purchased Los Angeles-based Vision Art (now renamed Digital Art Media) for $4 million.
Vision Art provided the special effects and computer graphics for such Hollywood blockbusters as Godzilla and Independence Day. Besides that, Compudyne Winfosystems has been involved in the making of films like Swordfish and Dr Dolittle 2.
According to Dahiya, one of the major reasons for Hollywood to turn to India was the fact that it is 10 times cheaper to create animation and special effects in India.
Last year, about 60 per cent of revenues came from animation films and the remaining from software development.
But following the September 11 attacks, some action films, which would use special effects and were in the pipeline, have been postponed.
"We are keeping our fingers crossed just as anybody else in the IT (information technology) industry. We expect at least 25 to 30 per cent of our revenues from the film business to be affected. Nobody can predict the extent of the impact now because of the recession-like situation there," says Dahiya.
To "minimise the impact", Compudyne Winfosystems is going into overdrive in the Indian film market as well as in the Japanese market. It already has, in hand, a Hindi film, a musical and a Tamil film for 'invisible effects' like a cloud scene in the blockbuster Lagaan that was created using computer graphics.
"Last week, we received tremendous response from producers and directors in Bombay. Invisible effects or computer graphics bring down film costs by as much as 20 to 30 per cent. It all depends on the story line and we help in that too," says Dahiya.
Indo-Asian News Service
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